Up 17 and he calls 3 consecutive pass plays. This is the Shouright Statistic in action. Run the %$#@& ball!!! What a moron Sherman is.

It is surprising to me that this team just does not run the ball more when it is somewhat effective. It's obvious that today we are doing a better job running the football -- stick with it. I can understand getting away from the run when we are being hit in the backfield on every play, but that is clearly not the case today.

We look so much better when run plays from under center. Both run and pass plays. Tannehill looks very dangerous on play action. Drives me crazy that Sherman does not use it more often and opts for empty backfield sets which are much lower percentage

Don't forget his irrational fear of QB sneaks. 4th & 1 at the 1? Shotgun! 3rd & half a yard at the 1? Off tackle handoff!

Irrational fear of bootlegs as well. You have a QB who is very athletic and throws extremely, extremely well on the run and is excellent at executing bootleg plays. Yet you never call them in 3rd and short or goal line situations?

Plus that first pass play was a dangerous lateral swing pass to Wallace. It risked an interception, perhaps even a pick-six and allowed the defender to push him out-of-bounds, thus unnecessarily stopping the clock.

I noticed that as well, and I think part of the problem with that as well is that when you have a three-and-out on the basis of three passing plays in that sort of situation, it translates to a bit of a momentum shift for the team down on the scoreboard, because they're able to get the ball back with little time having been taken off the clock. It's as if you breathe a bit a life into them by giving them exactly what they need to feel like they have a fighting chance in the game -- a defensive stop with minimal time taken off the clock. Compare that with a three-and-out on the basis of three running plays, in which a great deal more time would be taken off the clock, and/or the attainment of even one first down, which would do the same. You have to run the ball there because you don't know you're going to get the first down to wind down clock, whereas you do know you can wind it down with running plays. At that point you've minimized the sort of momentum shift I'm talking about here.

Shouright, this box score will look almost identical to the Cleveland one, in terms of turnover differential, 3rd down conversion differential and rushing attempt differential. Here, the Dolphins also outgained the opponent in rushing yardage, perhaps accentuating the Dolphins' dominance. So let's ask the same question - which statistic is the cause and which is the effect!?

Among which ones? Keep in mind that the Jets (4.5 YPC) actually had a good bit better success running the ball than the Dolphins (3.5 YPC) in this game.

Among the ones I listed! Turnover differential 3rd down conversion percentage differential Rushing attempt differential

I think what's probably causal in terms of success is a positive differential in passing efficiency (i.e., YPA), coupled with offensive balance in terms of rushing attempts, regardless of the level of rushing success. I suspect third down conversion differential is a mediator, but is highly unlikely to be present in the unfavorable direction when the causal variables are favorable. Turnovers are a virtually completely random wildcard in my opinion. All bets are off on the other variables when turnover differential is extreme.

The Jets had a higher rushing YPC, but the "eyeball" test says that the Dolphins ran more successfully. Why? Because the Jets YPC were inflated by a large run by Ivory and one by Powell, I believe. That translates to a right-tailed distribution of runs that is equivalent to a large positive skewness. This was my crazy idea that an average YPC based on a large positive skewness needs to be discounted. Just a crazy theory at this point...

I would think the only reason you wouldn't include those runs in a definition of running game "success," however, is if it could also be shown that they were largely random. If you can expect those runs every so often, I don't think you should exclude them from a definition of success.

Then it suggests that rushing attempt differential is correlated to winning because, all things being equal, more rushing attempts implies more rushing yardage. So today the Dolphins won the battle in rushing attempts and rushing yardage. Both must be more predictive than rushing YPC. Is the correlation between rushing attempt differential and win percentage dramatically larger than rushing yardage differential and win percentage? The reason skewness intrigues me is that it shows that the Jets' success rate when rushing was low. They might have had only 2 impact running plays. They weren't controlling the game with their running. It's an alternative way of measuring success rate. What if a team had 9 runs of minus 5 and one run of 95? Is that better than 10 runs of plus 5 yards? I think I'd prefer the latter by far. Perhaps just looking at the median YPC instead of the mean YPC is sufficient.

Thanks. Please read my prior post. I edited it after this reply. Also, do you know the correlation between rushing YPC average and winning? Here, looking at team differential might be silly.

Agreed, but I'm not certain its Sherman who's predominantly preferring to pass in those situations. He may be getting overruled. I say that due to several comments Sherman made about play selection in the preseason. Just sayin'. Also, as you said to me earlier, there's the fact that Sherman did not have this tendency with other teams he's been successful with.

I think TOP differential is what kept us in the game, despite a poor outing by the QB in the first half. The other statistics you're referring to contributed to that in a positive way, overall.

0.28. As for what you added above, how should we define "success"? I showed you the other day that the Dolphins' success rate in terms of one measure of it is no worse than the league average.

Shouright, My purpose is not to challenge your assertion that the Dolphins' rushing "success" rate is near the league average according to the Football Outsiders DVOA. I believe you, I promise!! My goal is to see if I can identify another statistic involving a team's rushing performance that correlates highly with winning percentage and is easier to interpret than is rushing attempt differential. Saying it another way, I am trying to define rushing "success" without relying on either rushing attempts differential or Football Outsiders DVOA. The challenge at arriving at an alternative definition of rushing success is how/whether to quantify the impact of outliers. You have stated that the correlation between average YPC and winning percentage is low. My hypothesis is that the reason it is low is because a high YPC can be inflated by a couple of large gains. My thought is that if a high YPC is achieved via a larger degree of consistency, it would be more predictive of winning percentage. Rightly or wrongly, my thought was that a large positive skewness could quantify a team's lack of rushing consistency for a given level of mean YPC. A "naive" definition of skewness is to calculate (mean - median) / standard deviation across a team's set of rushing yards per play in a given game. This provides a way to quantify the extent by which the average YPC was inflated by a few large rushing gains. I understand that such an analysis would be cumbersome. With respect to today's game, the Dolphins rushing game appeared dominant using the "eyeball" test as compared with the Jets rushing game, despite the Dolphins lower mean YPC. What peaks my curiosity is whether the Dolphins lower (apparent) skewness of the distribution of rushing yards across all such attempts can explain the perceived relative rushing dominance by the Dolphins.

I know you caveated the skewness measure but am curious if this formula is something commonly practiced. It's just interesting to see a "mean-median" calculation when one is used in parametric stats and the other in non-parametric stats. I'd be interested in any link to this use of the mean and median. I'd also be interested if you guys have ever tried fitting any type of model to "winning/losing" outcome for the same data set that you are calculating the correlations from. Be interesting to see what a model "says" that gives you the optimal chance of winning. Good stuff here.

Which is why I want Philbin and Sherman gone. Philbin's system pretty much ignores the running game, and Sherman's playcalling often stalls what little momentum they do get when running the ball.

And all that makes sense, but I think the measure you're after, despite the fact that it's theoretically sound, would pale in comparison in sophistication to what's expounded on the Advanced NFL Stats website with regard to rushing success rate, in terms of how its defined by positive expected points added. Sometimes other people have already done the work for us. :up:

http:// http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonparametric_skew I asked Shouright if there is a public database to download in order to do analyses and he didn't think there was. I think he gets pre-aggregated data from Football Outsiders and then does his own correlations. The motivation behind using the (mean - median) / standard deviation definition of skewness is that its domain is from -1 to +1. It is thus interpretable in a similar manner to a correlation. See attached link. I have never seen skewness used for anything. I have no idea if my hypothesis is correct. I was just "thinking outside the box" and skewness popped into my head as something potentially interesting to look at. If Shouright had the data, he could do one of his partial correlation calculations between winning percentage and mean YPC, controlling for skewness.

See what you think when you click on "Show All..." in the table entitled "Team Offense" at this link: http://www.pro-football-reference.c...esult=&margin_min=&margin_max=&order_by=yards

So this shows the number of 20+ yard rushing plays by team. Is that the point or is its downloadability the point? To calculate means, medians etc. you would need data for each rushing play.

I was wondering if you could get a sense from that the prevalance of longer runs throughout the league, and the shape of their distribution among teams.

Wake me up when Philbin says: "Mike Sherman did a great job in this ball game converting both 3rd and 4th down situations with less than a yard to go. I finally said 'Hey, Mike. Your play selection hasn't worked all year. See if you can work with Ryan on his hard count. Perhaps we can draw the defense offsides'. It was our best cadence practice all year and it paid big dividends on those two key drives."

This is why I didn't buy the idea that Philbin all of a sudden turned into conservative Sparano against Carolina. He's never proven to be conservative and this thread shows, if anything, you could argue he's too aggressive. For me though, I'll take too aggressive over too conservative every day of the week and twice on Sunday.